General questions

I just sent my first panel of PCBs to manufacturing. Maybe a good time to summarize some quesions.

  1. The behaviors od schematic and PCB editor are different. Example, in the schematic, copying a symbol is done by just pressing C. In the PCB editor, it doesn’t work. Will it be harmonized in the future, or is there a way to reassign the shortcuts so that the GUI works the same everuwhere?
    Similarily adding a wire is W in schematic and for a trace, it’s X in PCBnew. Also, I have setup the grid as lines instead of dots in PCBNew. And I don’t find anyway to do the same in the schematics. Am I missing something?

  2. About units.
    I have setup my units to mm (left toolbar). Why are all menus still indicating other units? 10 mils doesn’t “talk” to me, 0.1mm does. And if I’m using chips or connectors in inches, I have no problem setting the grid to 2.54, 1.27, etc…

  3. For some reason, my settings sometimes disappear randomly. Or at least I didn’find a correlation for the time being. I noticed that my settings disappear at every new version install, but not only. I would like to fix once and forever that my default pattern width is 0.125. I would also like that the grid stays setup to lines, not dots, and I would like that the zoom’s “center and warp cursor on zoom” is disabled forever. Is there a way to freeze my global settings so that they will survive anything, a new project as well as a new kicad version?



  1. No, you’re not missing anything. If I have understood the history of KiCad correctly, eeschema and pcbnew were independent from each other and were combined to one suite. The situation will probably be different in 6.0. Eeschema will be ported to a new tool framework. There’s possibility to change shortcuts radically. But whether they actually will be changed is a different matter. The best solution would be to have better keyboard handling engine and possibility to easily have several shortcut schemes.

  2. Which application, eeschema, pcbnew, both, other? There may have been some bugs related to that in the past. I the nighty builds the units work well. If you find a problem in nightly builds, report it as a bug.

  3. Disappearing “randomly” would surely be a bug. Some things don’t have easy permanent settings, like the default trace width. In 5.1 you will be able to import the board settings from another project, so you can create a template for those settings. (Unfortunately it doesn’t import everything, see Personally I don’t understand why it has been scheduled only for 6.0, not 5.1, because it’s so obvious bug and IMO there’s no reason why importing everything would be difficult.)

Hello Eelik!

Thanks for your reply. I got it. Well, I can live with it, but it would definitely be better with a kind of harmonized interface. In fact, it could be even better if it were using the standard shortcuts (cmd-c, for copy, cmd-v, for paste, etc. By the way, my example selection was not the smartest one. In PCB, you’re not supposed to copy a footprint, that should be done in the schematics.

As for 2: it’s in all the programs. See picture.


As I have chosen metric units, I don’t think the inch units should be displayed. Or that should be an option if some people like it.Same in the libraries. The footprints for resistors for instance are listed like “0603 (1608 metric)”. In this case it’s even worse, my main unit has become a sub unit between ()s.

  1. As for disappearing randomly, I say randomly because I haven’t found any reproductible reason that causes my preferences to disappear. I noticed that everytime I installed a new version (in the pre-5 series nightly builds), I had to reprogram my preferences. Now I’m using the official releases only (5.0.2 now), but anyway sometimes I have to redo the whole setting. Would be nice to have a .kicad_conf somewhere, that I could save, that would be a good start. Then being able to setup a series of config files, for instance one for low voltage, low current, one for power circuits, etc… would be an improvement, but starting simple with a single config would already be nice.


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